Dee receives regional Coach of the Year honors

Mike Dee

Mike Dee has led the Flames baseball team for 19 seasons.

Baseball head coach Mike Dee was named the American Baseball Coaches Association/Diamond Mideast Region Coach of the Year.

Dee, who was also named Horizon League Coach of the Year for the 10th time in 19 seasons, helped the Flames match the school record with 39 wins while securing a Horizon League championship and the program’s fifth NCAA Championship appearance. UIC participated in the Hattiesburg Regional, hosted by Southern Mississippi, in June.

Under Dee’s tutelage, the UIC pitching staff registered the lowest earned-run average in program history. The Flames finished the campaign with an ERA of 2.65, lower than the previous record set in 2003 (3.19). UIC ranked second in the country in ERA, hits allowed per nine innings (7) and WHIP (1.11).

The Flames had 11 shutouts this season, eclipsing the 2002 record by two — a mark that was second nationally to Oregon State (14) and Long Beach State (12).

UIC also flourished defensively last season. The Flames led the NCAA in fielding percentage (.984). The team’s average of 0.63 errors per game was the lowest in the country.

A program-record six Flames were drafted under Dee’s guidance in 2017. Right-handed pitcher Connor Ryan was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the eighth round, and Rob Calabrese was taken by the San Francisco Giants in the 10th round. Mickey McDonald (Oakland Athletics), David Cronin (Chicago White Sox), Jake Dahlberg (St. Louis Cardinals) and Cody Bohanek (Houston Astros) were chosen on the third day of the First-Year Player Draft. Pitcher Mitchell Schulewitz signed a free agent contract with the Kansas City Royals, and Ricardo Ramirez  signed a professional contract with the Traverse City Beach Bums of the Frontier League.

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